Tag: Beer

Portland WordPress User Group: Why save all the love for WordCamp Portland?

WordPressHands down, one of the most compelling and beneficial events of the Portland Web scene last year was WordCamp Portland, where the WordPress faithful took the opportunity to gather, share ideas, and learn about new ways to use their favorite blogging platform.

So much WordPress love from the community. It seems a shame to keep it pent up all year.

Enter Portland WordPress User Group, a new event designed to help newbies get the help they need, to ensure power users get more powerful, and to generally forge a stronger community among the WordPress types here in town. And an event—most importantly—designed to occur much more often than once a year.

Apart from the assurances of “I know Beer and Blog. I’ve been to Beer and Blog. This is not Beer and Blog,” the format is still pretty open. The first gathering will be designed to help form that, um, format.

The inaugural meeting will be held Thursday, January 15th from 6:00-7:30pm at CubeSpace. To RSVP, visit Upcoming.

Puff! The Geeky Dragon is dead (maybe)

Green Dragon FAIL WhaleBirds of a feather flock together. Startups like startups. Creatives like creatives. And that’s probably why when a startup distillery and bistro called the Green Dragon opened, the startup tech community in Portland felt a certain affinity for it.

They liked us. We liked them. They were perfect for Beer and Blog. They were centrally located for other tech events. It was a very much kismet.

But now, that’s coming to an end. I’m sad to report that, like many a startup, the Green Dragon has (possibly) been acquired by Rogue Brewing.

And, if it goes through—the lawyers have jumped in to say that “nothing is final”—then the dynamic of the joint may be changing.

OurPDX is reporting:

John Foyston of The Beer Here blog has an update that pretty much states that Rogue plans on keeping most of what the Green Dragon character is today, so that could bode well for us who love it. From how I read the article, the only change would be in ownership, but the heart of the Green Dragon would live on. You decide.

We don’t know what we don’t know. But I’m not exactly holding my breath that the Green Dragon we know and love will be around much longer.

What to do? Show up to Beer and Blog today to bid one of the best geek hangouts in town a fond farewell. Mourning attire and protest armbands optional.

Have a Happy Halloween at Beer… err Bat & Blog

Bat and BlogEvery week around this time, a group of Portland blogging and tech types gather at the Green Dragon to end the week on a good note with Beer and Blog.

This week, it just so happens that Beer and Blog falls on Halloween which has it—like a victim of an unfortunate zombie bite—transforming into the ghoulishly clever “Bat and Blog.”

But wait, there’s more:

Now, if you are like me (meaning, not into intricate costumes that involve actual planning) you may find yourself dressing up as yourself again this year (meaning, sans costume). All that thinking ahead for costume ideas really bums me out, so I usually skip the whole thing.

This year, however, I came up with an easy-to-create Halloween getup of the non-lame variety that lets you participate in the celebrated tradition of being someone else for a day. The best part is that this costume idea is of someone we all admire, whom men and women alike want to emulate. Someone smart, popular, good looking and super-dooper nice, who supports and promotes the Portland tech scene with unwavering love. A bona fide tour de force.

Who are they describing? You’ll just have to head over to the blog and see.

Suffice it to say, I’m buying. But you’ll have to show up to find out if that’s a trick or a treat.

Blog like a pirate: Beer arrrrr Blog in St. Johns

Beer arrrr BlogIt’s an impromptu field-trip day for Beer and Blog as the head to St. Johns to celebrate Blog like a Pirate Day. Or Talk like a Pirate Day. Or whatever.

Um. Ahoy?

On this glorious day, Beer and Blog will be taking a field trip to the Leisure Public House. Here to tell you all about it is our St. Johns correspondent, mediaChick.

For mediachick’s five fantastic reasons for making the not-so-arduous trip north, see the Beer and Blog, um, blog. My favorite?

The miscellaneous, yet delightful, discoveries: jukebox, generous outside patio, ping-pong table, bocce, wifi, and a sleepy and snuggly pub cat.

For more information, details on the location, and to RSVP, see Beer and Blog on Upcoming.

Psst! Beer and Blog will be about secrets. Past it on.

Beer and BlogIt’s Friday. And that means, it’s time for our favorite Portland wrap-up for the week: Beer and Blog.

So what’s the topic?

Well, I’d like to tell you, but it’s a secret.

Most of us have more than a few cards up our sleeves that give us a competitive advantage. I know I’ve got a whole bag of tricks that I’ve built up over the years. Today, we’re going to share some of those sweet secrets with the group. The idea here is not to spill your guts and tell all, rather that if we all share a little somethin’ then we will all learn a lot.

For more information or to RSVP, visit Beer and Blog on Upcoming.

Three reasons to attend Beer and Blog: Vidoop, Vidoop, and, well, Vidoop

Hey! It’s Friday. And it’s going to be nice. And you’ve been working hard. All week. What with having to go to Ignite Portland 3 and the after party and Backfence PDX. I would imagine you’re plum tuckered out.

You deserve to kick back and relax. And what better place to do it than everyone’s favorite Friday afternoon activity, Beer and Blog?

What’s that? You’re “thinking about it”?

Well, clearly, you need a little bit more of a shove. So, let’s give you a few reasons to attend, shall we? How about three: Vidoop, Vidoop, and Vidoop.

  1. Vidoop Troop #2. The next wave of soon-to-be Portlanders has walked uphill in their bare feet, all the way from Tulsa, Oklahoma, just to meet you. (They told me they were happy to meet other folks, as well, but they mentioned you by name.) And they actually had to fight their way through a mob of angry Tulsans to get here. They’d really like to meet you. And, you know, “hang out.”
  2. Vidoop is buying. What’s better than a Beer and Blog on a Friday afternoon? A Beer and Blog with free beer on a Friday afternoon, silly. And Vidoop is making that possible. But don’t go to the usual spot. Or you’ll be both lonely and buying your own brews. Head on over to Plan B.
  3. Vidoop is going to reveal a top-secret, skunk-works OpenID project. Seems Michael Richardson has been up to something at Vidoop. Something “that enhances the usability of OpenID.” And he’s going to be giving everyone at tonight’s Beer and Blog a peek behind the velvet curtain. What is it? I don’t know. But all you breaking news blogging types (I’m looking at you Marshall Kirkpatrick) might want to show up to get an early glimpse at some OpenID goodness.

How’s that for convincing? I think you have to be a pretty hard-headed hard-hearted individual to turn this one down.

So, I’ll look forward to seeing you there.

Kistner joins Silicon-Valley-based Voce Communications

Justin Kistner, a fixture in the Portland startup, design, and social media scene (who also happened to create the “Conversation” theme that skins the Silicon Florist site), has shared with me that he will be going to work for Silicon Valley communications firm Voce Communications, starting in April.

Kistner is perhaps best known for his weekly gathering of influential Portland bloggers, Beer and Blog, and his own blog on the social media scene, Metafluence.

He will be joining Voce (in spite of Steve Rubel’s recent post) as a Social Media Strategist, focusing on:

Identifying the people, places, and conversations that are advantageous for a business to engage with and recommend an approach. Then provide engagement maintenance to keep our market position moving in the right direction.

I hear you. “I thought Silicon Florist was supposed to be about Portland news?” So, why am I writing about somebody bailing on the Portland startup community for the Valley?

Well, because he’s not bailing.

Turns out Kistner will be working from Portland—and likely still for Portland companies. And I think that makes this announcement especially interesting to the Portland startup and tech community.

Why? I have three specific reasons.

First, with this hire, Portland’s social media and Web scene gets a hint of some well-deserved “street cred.”

“They want me to stay here because they like that I’m part of the Portland tech scene,” said Kistner. “And they feel that gives them more perspective. It helps them if I’m not get stuck in the Silicon Valley echo chamber.”

Second, Portland—through Kistner—has the opportunity to expose the firm that handles social media strategy for companies like Yahoo!, Verisign, Sony Playstation, and eBay, to Portland’s way of doing things.

Third, Portland gains another diplomat for meaningful cross-pollination with the Valley—in the same vein as Scott Kveton, Raven Zachary, Marshall Kirkpatrick, and countless others—whom Portland is lucky to have acting as de facto emissaries in that important epicenter.

All of those things, in my opinion, can only be good for Kistner. And good for us.

I, for one, am interested to see how this progresses and seeing who stands to benefit most from this new relationship.

Beyond the Forest: OpenID and the bigs, all hat and no cattle

It’s no surprise that Portland is rapidly becoming one of the de facto hubs for OpenID evangelism and development.

Scott Kveton, the chairman of the OpenID Foundation now calls Portland home. Portland-based JanRain is a leading force in the OpenID development effort and new Portland-transplant Vidoop is also coming on strong. If Beer and Blog is any indication, we’re all interested in getting more use out of OpenID on our blogs. And having the opportunity to sit down with David Recordon, the vice chair of the OpenID Foundation, is something that’s appealing to quite a number of us.

And while the big companies that we often encounter one way or another—Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL—have all claimed to jump into the OpenID pool, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch is beginning to wonder if this isn’t all a bunch of OpenID lip service. Or to put it bluntly: Are the bigs all hat and no cattle?

The problem, though, is that the Big Four Internet companies that I mentioned above have made big press announcements about their support for OpenID, but haven’t done enough to actually implement it. Microsoft has done absolutely nothing, even though Bill Gates announced their support over a year ago. Google has limited its support to Blogger, where it is both an Issuing and Relying party. Yahoo and AOL are Issuing parties only.

This is a tenuous position at best. For as much ground as we can cover from a grassroots perspective, it’s going to be exceedingly difficult to get anyone—beyond early adopters—to take on OpenID without the support of some of these bigger entities.

Without the bigs, there is no OpenID tipping point.

But the funny thing—not funny “ha ha,” but funny “sad”—is that all of these gigantic companies are struggling with one very similar issue that would be partially—if not completely—solved by an effective implementation of OpenID: bringing acquisitions under a common login credential.

Yahoo! throws its acquirees’ respective user bases into turmoil every time it asks them to move over to a Yahoo! ID. Google takes years in its struggles to get everyone on the Google credential system. Microsoft and AOL are no different.

To me, it seems obvious that OpenID could solve this issue, now and for the foreseeable future. And I can’t be the only one seeing that.

As hard as it may be for them to accept it, the bigs need to move away from their proprietary credentialing structures. They need to embrace concepts like OpenID and OAuth for what they can do to solve their problems, today.

In short, they need to let go and let OpenID.

For now, the jury is still out on when and how the big company momentum will fall behind OpenID in terms of something more than spin and lip service. But let’s hope that day is soon approaching. For all of our sakes.

I can tell you one thing: from a grassroots level, Portland is sure to be leading the charge. And we’re not going to slowing our OpenID fandom anytime soon.